On Wednesday the Lithuanian government decided to transfer weapons and ammunition worth nearly €2 million to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense for free. Weapons that were used by the Lithuanian military until they were replaced with new weapons, corresponding to NATO standards, will be given to Ukraine, the official website of the Lithuanian Defense Ministry reports.
“The transfer of assets is consistent and comprehensive support of Ukraine by Lithuania, by strengthening her defensive capabilities and ensuring her sovereignty,” said Lithuanian Minister of National Defense Raimundas Karoblis.
As reported previously, most of the more than 7,000 weapons are Kalashnikovs that Lithuania is no longer using, and almost 2 million bullets. The Ukrainians are also being given more than 80 machine guns, several mortars, anti-tank weapons, and other weapons. According to the minister, Lithuania and her allies help Ukraine to make reforms, and train her armed forces.
“The assets transferred by the Lithuanian armed forces can only be used to ensure the security of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and its subsidiary institutions, national protection, participation in regional and collective agreements, and activities according to the provisions of the UN Charter,” the Lithuanian Defense Minister’s report states.
This is not the first time that Lithuania has given Ukraine weapons which are no longer being used in the country, and on account of which Lithuania has received a diplomatic memorandum from Russia. The first time this happened was in 2014, shortly after the start of Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine. In September 2016 it was reported that Lithuania had given Ukraine 150 tons of military cargo, which primarily consisted of 5.45 mm bullets for Kalashnikovs.